The Film & Television Production review committee panel evaluates applications for originality, clarity, personal insight and artistic excellence. There are no admission interviews but applicants may be contacted for more information or clarification of submitted materials. The committee ensures that all applicants are judged equitably by limiting evaluation to the items listed. Incomplete applications, or applications not submitted as requested, cannot be considered.

Application Overview

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The following items must be submitted to be considered for admission to the Film & Television Production B.A. program.

  • The Common Application
    • USC Writing Supplement
  • SlideRoom Application
  • Cinematic Arts Supplemental Materials
    • Cinematic Arts Personal Statement
    • Writing Sample (pick one: A or B or C)
    • Visual Sample (Video or Photo Option)
    • Creative Portfolio List
    • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • Official High School & College Transcripts
  • Official English Proficiency Test Scores (International Students Only)

All matters relating to admission are the applicant's responsibility. When submitting an application, make sure you have completed all screens of the online process. The application system allows you to check your application to verify your application materials have been uploaded and submitted. Incomplete applications, or applications not submitted, will not be considered.

Each year, we strive to develop a well-balanced cohort of students for each of our programs. As such, we do not grant admission deferrals and we recommend that applicants apply for a future term when certain they can accept admission.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Admission: February 1

*Note to Transfer students: Admission is granted on a space available basis. In order to be considered for admission, you must first obtain 48 transferable semester units (excluding AP & IB, but may include units in progress during the fall or spring semester).

View all Application Deadlines.

All applicants wishing to be considered for admission must complete the following steps in the application process (where applicable):

Step 1: Submit the Common Application for General Admission and the USC Writing Supplement

The Common Application and USC Writing Supplement can be accessed at The Common Application website. Please note that the Common Application and USC Writing Supplement are two separate submissions. Both must be submitted by the deadline in order to be considered for admission.

Please carefully review and follow the application instructions for transfer applicants on USC's Undergraduate Admission website.

Step 2: Submit Supplemental Materials via the SlideRoom Application

As part of the application process, all students looking to be considered for admission to the Film & Television Production program are required to submit supplemental materials to support their application. These supplemental materials must be submitted via the SlideRoom Application. Please submit the SlideRoom Application titled: "Film & Television Production B.A. Program — External Transfer Applicants".

The following supplemental materials are required for admission consideration to the Film & Television Production B.A. program. Please submit all written materials in PDF format.

  1. Cinematic Arts Personal Statement (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section)
  2. The personal statement will be read by the Film & Television Production Admission Committee as a measure of creativity, self-awareness and vision. We are looking for a sense of you as a unique individual and how your distinctive experiences, characteristics, background, values and/or views of the world have shaped who you are and what you want to say as a creative filmmaker. We want to know about the kind of stories you want to tell. Bear in mind that enthusiasm for watching films, descriptions of your favorite films and the involvement in the filmmaking process is common in most candidates. As a result, we encourage that you focus on your individuality. Note that there is no standard format or correct answer. (1,000 words or less)

  3. Writing Sample (choose one) (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section)
    Clearly title which writing sample you choose
    1. A description of a four-minute film that contains no dialogue. It can be fiction or non-fiction. The story has to be communicated visually. (no more than two pages)
    2. A dialogue scene between two people. Provide a one-paragraph introduction describing the two characters in screenplay format. (no more than three pages)
    3. Describe a concept for a feature-length movie, fiction or documentary, which you would like to develop. (No more than two pages)
  4. Visual Sample (choose one) (please submit under the "Portfolio Section")
    Please submit one of the two visual samples. It is essential that you specify what role(s) you have played in your visual sample.
    • Video Option: Create a brief narrative video in which you had a major creative role. The video can be either live-action or animation, fiction or documentary, but it should reflect your aesthetic tastes and intellectual and emotional interests. (No longer than five minutes.) Please submit only ONE video. Multiple submissions WILL NOT be reviewed.
    • Photo Option: Prepare a series of eight photographs you have taken which, when viewed in a specific sequence, portray a unique and original character or which tell a simple narrative story. Also, include a one-page narrative about the character being portrayed in the photos. The images may either be black-and-white or in color. Please upload the photos in order of sequence(1-8). Please upload the required one page narrative into the online application.
  5. Creative Portfolio List (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section)
  6. The portfolio list is a written record of the applicant's creative materials. It should include a concise description of each project, the month and year the project was completed, the applicant's creative role and the purpose of the project. The material, which does not need to be film- or television-related, should give an idea of the range and depth of the applicant's creative ability. Formal recognition - such as awards, publications, jobs and exhibitions - should be noted. The name of the institution or publication should be included when listing creative materials prepared for a class or publication. An example of the portfolio list is below:

    • July 2008, A Day in the Life, digital video, 12 minutes. Position: writer/director. A documentary on a homeless Iraq vet who has lived on the streets since his return from the military. Created for senior-year multimedia term project, San Raphael High School, Miami, Florida.
    • March 2008, Doorways, a series of 5 black-and-white photographs. Position: photographer. "Second Prize Winner" in the Des Moines Sunday Journal photo contest.
    • February 2007, Cellomorphosis, short story. Position: writer. A variation on the novella by Franz Kafka; published in Writing, vol. IV, 2007, at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts.
  7. Letters of Recommendation (One letter must be an academic reference)
  8. Three letters of recommendation (no particular format) are required. It is recommended that letters be submitted via the SlideRoom References system. Any letters submitted via the Common Application may also be used towards the three letters of recommendation required. Applicants are responsible for requesting letters of recommendation as well as confirming that they have been received.

Step 3: Send Official Academic Transcripts

Transfer applicants should submit official high school and college transcripts to USC's Office of Admission, not the School of Cinematic Arts.

Transcripts can be sent electronically via the Common Application or sent by mail to:

University of Southern California
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911

Step 4: Send Official Test Scores (If Applicable)

SAT or ACT scores are required from applicants who have completed fewer than 30 semester units of college coursework. Arrange for the testing agency to send your SAT or ACT scores directly to USC.


The essay portion of the ACT is optional. The essay portion of the SAT will be optional for students taking the redesigned test in March 2016 or after.

Step 5: Submit Official English Proficiency Test Scores (International Applicants Only)

Academic success at USC depends on your ability to communicate effectively in English. All international applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency in the following manner:

Transfer international applicants should earn:

  • A minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL iBT (with a minimum score of 20 in each section); OR
  • A minimum IELTS score of 7; OR
  • A minimum PTE score of 68.


Applicants must receive the minimum required score to be considered. Official scores must be received directly from the testing service and dated no earlier than 2 years (24 months) prior to the start of your intended first term at USC.

Please carefully review and follow the application instructions for first-year international applicants on USC's Undergraduate Admission website.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

The School of Cinematic Arts offers scholarships to incoming students. To learn more, please visit the SCA Scholarships page. The Office of Student Affairs will notify all students who submit a completed application for admission information about the SCA scholarship application process. Please note that in order to be considered for SCA scholarships, domestic students are required to apply for Financial Aid at USC. Therefore, please make sure to complete your application for financial aid on time. 

Prospective students are also encouraged to consider USC Scholarships as the university maintains a number of prestigious scholarship programs. Learn more about costs and financial aid here.